Skepticism and Conjunctions

Belief in God and belief in the Christian faith are both vulnerable to skepticism in view of the fact that both beliefs consist in conjuctions.Some of the key divine attributes are:eternally bodiless eternally omnipotent eternally omniscient eternally perfectly morally good the creator of the universeIn order for God to exist, there must be one and only one person who has all five of these divine attributes.If there is an omnipotent person who is evil or morally flawed, … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Wrapping up the Debate

Josh McDowell and various life events have distracted me from the debate with Joe Hinman about the external evidence for the existence of Jesus. (Sorry for the delay, Joe.)I wrote an introductory post about the debate:Introduction to the DebateHinman presented five arguments for the existence of Jesus based on external (non-biblical) evidence:Arguments 1 Through 4 (Talmud, Papias, Polycarp, Josephus)Argument 5 (Web of Historicity)I criticized the five arguments, typically … [Read more...]

McDowell’s Trilemma – Part 2: An Eternally Omnipotent Person

McDowell's Trilemma Argument (hereafter: MTA), can be found in The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (hereafter: NETDV) by Josh McDowell (see pages 158-163).=================...Jesus definitely claimed to be God (see below and in Chapter 6).  So every person must answer the question: Is His claim to deity true or false?   (NETDV, p.158)=================The first key premise of MTA is this:Jesus claimed to be God.This first premise appears to be false.  Jesus did NOT cla … [Read more...]

McDowell’s Trilemma – Part 1: An Eternally Bodiless Person

Here are the basic premises of McDowell's Trilemma Argument (hereafter: MTA), from The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (hereafter: NETDV by Josh McDowell:=================...Jesus definitely claimed to be God (see below and in Chapter 6).  So every person must answer the question: Is His claim to deity true or false?  This question deserves a most serious consideration.[...]Jesus' claim to be God must be either true or false.  If Jesus' claims are true, then He is the Lord, an … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Parts 5B and 5C

Joe Hinman's fifth argument for the existence of Jesus based on external evidence is presented in two sections of his post on the Web of Historicity:5B. Big Web of Historicity5C. Jesus Myth Theory Cannot Account for the WebThe fifth argument for the existence of Jesus can be summarized in terms of a single premise:1.There is a web of historicity.Therefore:2. It is probable that Jesus of Nazareth was a flesh-and-blood historical person.Given this very simple summary, … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 5A: Various Points

Some of Hinman's discussions about his five principles of historical investigation provide needed clarification of a principle, and some of his discussions fail to provide clarification of the relevant principle.  But even when Hinman fails to clarify one of his general principles of historical investigation, he often makes some significant or interesting points.  I will examine many of those specific points in this post.Hinman's discussion about (P1) fails to clarify what that principle m … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 5A: Five Principles

Joe Hinman's fifth argument for the existence of Jesus is presented in three sections:5A. Historical Methods5B. Big Web of Historicity5C. Jesus Myth Theory Cannot Account for the WebI will comment on, and raise objections to, points in each of these three sections, but this post will only cover part of the section on "Historical Methods".  Specifically, I will cover the five high-level principles of historical investigation proposed by Hinman in his discussion of "Historical … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 4

QUESTION 1: What is Hinman's Central Claim about Josephus?There are two famous passages in a book by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus that appear to refer to Jesus.  Joe Hinman wants to focus on the "brother passage", the passage in Antiquities that mentions a person named "James" and refers to him as "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ". (Antiquities 20,200).After a brief introductory paragraph, Hinman quotes the "brother passage"But the younger Ananus who, as we said, re … [Read more...]


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